Star Wars tears apart US box office record

The Star Wars European premiere took place in London last week

The Star Wars European premiere took place in London last week

Star Wars: The Force Awakens has smashed the record for the biggest box office debut weekend in North America with ticket sales of $238m (£159.7m).

The previous record, $208.8m (£140m), was set by Jurassic World in June.

The new Star Wars film has taken an estimated $517m (£347m) globally in three days – putting it just behind Jurassic World’s $525m (£352m) tally.

Star Wars has also had the biggest opening day and Saturday receipts in UK and Ireland box office history.

With its Sunday takings projected to be £7.5m, it is expected to achieve the largest four-day weekend total in British and Irish cinemas.

JJ Abrams’ film grossed £9.6m on Thursday, including £2.4m from midnight screenings.

That exceeded the previous best of £9.48m set by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 in 2011.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens went on to make £8.6m on Saturday in the UK and Ireland.

These figures meant it had already overtaken the lifetime totals of several big films, including the first Hunger Games release and The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

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